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SITA’s next-gen passenger system puts connected traveler in control
Location: Brussels
17 June 2015

Today at the Air Transport IT Summit, SITA, the global IT provider to airlines and airports, demonstrated how the connected traveler is at the heart of Horizon, its next generation passenger system. SITA Horizon enables airlines to track passengers’ preferences and determine each customer’s overall value so that they can personalize their service and make relevant offerings. Its new passenger ancillary sales portal allows relevant ancillary services to be offered consistently across any sales channel – mobile, online, agency or call center.

Speaking at the event, Allison O’Neill, VP Passenger Services, SITA, said: “Passengers expect a tailored and personalized buying experience similar to their online experience with major retailers. To give passengers what they really want, airlines need to know their preferences and to measure each customer’s value. SITA Horizon Customer Profile allows airlines to do this across all touch points used by today’s connected traveler. Passengers can now get tailored and personalized service whether they use an agent, online website or a mobile device.”

Tailoring offers to individual customers is a business priority for airlines.  According to the 2015 SITA Airline IT Trends Survey, 82% of them are investing in solutions to improve personalization. The first step in personalization is to get to know the customer. SITA Horizon Customer Value algorithm, which is part of the Customer Profile, calculates a single figure that indicates a customer’s value and is used to drive airline system processes. It is based on the customer’s loyalty tier, booking history and other attributes such as VIP status. Secondly, passengers’ personal preferences regarding meals, seat selection – even what name they prefer to be called – are stored in the profile and used at service touch points throughout the journey.

Using this information, SITA’s new passenger ancillary sales portal then ensures that passengers are offered appropriate services based on their individual preferences and loyalty program entitlements. For example, passengers can view a priced seat map and purchase their preferred seat, additional bags and other ancillary services such as lounge access and meals using their mobile, tablet or PC. It lets passengers tailor their journey with the services they require, however and whenever they want.

O’Neill added: “For those airlines that have adapted existing passenger systems to modern day requirements, the end result is disparate data sources and middleware solutions. So, we have designed Horizon to address this issue. Our data models support the golden principle of single source and holistic data shared across all systems and users that need it. By applying this principle to how Horizon uses customer data, the 90 airlines that use SITA Horizon Reservations can have a holistic view of their customer and provide appropriate services across the whole journey.”

Horizon supports a multi-channel approach by allowing airlines to tailor offerings on both self-service and agent-assisted channels. The single source approach ensures that personalized offers are centrally managed and are presented consistently on every channel.

Passengers can use the ancillary sales portal across the whole journey and recommendations and offers can be made at various points including before and during booking, and after purchase (either directly or via a third party). It supports mobile and tablet bookings allowing airlines to serve the increasing numbers of passengers booking this way which is rising from 27% now to 37% by 2016.

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